With the arrival of June weíve once again descended upon Taipei, Taiwan for Computex, one of the largest trade shows in the PC industry.
Normally Computex is a pretty exciting show, last year Intelís then upcoming Core 2 line of CPUs were all the rage, and the year before that ATI launched their CrossFire technology at Computex, however this year the show has so far been much more mundane Ė there really hasnít been any one new product that everyoneís been buzzing about. While weíve certainly seen some cool new products, that killer app really hasnít materialized yet. Here are our highlights of the show so far:
Building on their high-end Republic of Gamers motherboard line, ASUS demonstrated a slew of new motherboards targeted specifically towards gamers and hardware enthusiasts. Their new Blitz Extreme motherboard features ASUSí Fusion Block system that mixes liquid cooling with heat pipes for cooling the North and South Bridges of the system chipset as well as the VRM circuitry.
Based on Intelís P35 Bearlake chipset, the Blitz Extreme also boasts an interesting feature dubbed Crosslinx which is designed to allow x8 operation for both PCI Express graphics (PEG) slots for ATI CrossFire. If you recall, the P35 chipset natively supports CrossFire, but canít split the PCIe lanes evenly among the PEG slots, this hampers performance as a result.
If ASUSí Crosslinx technology works as advertised, it could theoretically get around this limitation and thus run faster than other conventional P35 motherboards when two Radeon cards are combined for CrossFire. Sitting below the Blitz Extreme is the Blitz Formula. Like the Blitz Extreme, it utilizes the P35 chipset, only it supports DDR2 memory instead of DDR3 and it lacks the liquid cooling. Both boards come with a copy of STALKER as well as a copy of 3DMark 06, an external LCD poster display, and ASUSí Supreme FX II audio card.
Besides the new ROG motherboards, ASUS also showcased a P35 motherboard with DDR3 memory built-in, the P5K3 Premium. Sitting atop the DDR3-1333 memory was a massive copper heatsink, and as you can see in the images above, the memory is also linked with the heat pipe cooling used to cool the chipset and power circuitry. ASUS is also ready for Intelís X38 chipset when it debuts in Q3. Their upcoming P5E3 Deluxe motherboard was up and running inside the ASUS booth.
Also on display at ASUS was their upcoming M3A32-MVP Deluxe. Based on AMDís upcoming RD790 chipset, the M3A32-MVP Deluxe is the first motherboard weíve seen which features memory cooling built-in to the motherboard. Flanking these Corsair Dominator memory modules is a copper heatsink/heat pipe combination. It will be interesting to see how effective this solution is when the board ships later this year.